Election watchdog tells bets: Stop using gov’t funds, resources to woo votes

Feb. 12, 2019
A passerby ignores the campaign posters of both local and national candidates that practically cover this side of Davao City’s Buhangin District. (davaotoday.com photo by Wether b. Saldaña)

FILE PHOTO. Election watchdog Kontra Daya challenges all candidates in May midterm elections not to use government funds and resources as the campaign period starts today.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Political hopefuls should stop using government funds and resources to woo votes, a poll watchdog said on Tuesday as the campaign period for senators and party-list groups officially started today, February 12 with political bets on a campaign trail to woo votes from voters across the country.

University of the Philippines professor Danilo Arao, one of the organizers of Kontra Daya, in particular criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for campaigning his former aide now senatorial candidate Bong Go.

“While President Rodrigo Duterte appears to be calling on his Cabinet members not to campaign for any candidate, we still question why he himself chooses to do so — raising the hands of candidates he favors and even going out of his way to accompany favored ones like senatorial candidate Bong Go when the latter filed his certificate of candidacy in October 2018,” Arao said.

Arao issued the statement after Go was invited as a guest of honor in yesterday’s event at the Philippine National Police where he reportedly gave a speech, met with hundreds of college students and had a press conference inside Camp Crame.

Arao found Go’s appearance at the PNP event “suspicious” because it was held on February 11, a day before the actual campaign.

“If the PNP is indeed neutral, why did it invite a declared senatorial candidate like Go as guest of honor…,” Arao said.

“Lest they be accused of electioneering, all government agencies should now remove posters and campaign materials of candidates and party-list groups and prohibit the same candidates from using government resources in their campaigns,” he added.

The poll watchdog has called on the public to be critical and vigilant now that the campaign period has started.

“It is important, more than ever, to analyze what the candidates say, as well as what they choose not to say, identifying not just those they are willing to disclose but more importantly those that they choose to hide.” (davaotoday.com)

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